THE TEL AVIV Theater presents ‘Flashdance'.
(photo credit: OR DANON)
If you’re into gloriously trashy, paper-thin plotlines, über-miking, ear drum-battering live music, eye-popping costumes (Yuval Caspin) and some very nifty dancing courtesy of choreographer Rom Sahar, then Flashdance, in its first production by the newly constituted Tel Aviv Theater, will hold you spellbound from start to finish.
Alex, vibrantly personified by Sapir Yitzhak, has dreams of studying ballet and pursues an audition at the local dance academy. Meanwhile, she make her living working in a steel mill by day and dancing at Harry’s (Lior Zohar) seedy bar by night together with good friends Tess, ebulliently portrayed by Maie Feingold, Kiki (Adi Cohen) and Gloria (Revital Zaltsman).
And where, you ask, is romance? Ah yes.
Mill-owner’s son Nick (Tzachi Halevy) and Alex are attracted to one another, while wanna-be (and likely ever to remain so) comedian Jimmy (Ro’i Weinberg) and Gloria are in a relationship.
Enter the serpent, aka JC (Yonatan Paz Boganis) and his glitzy Chameleon nightclub to which Gloria is drawn like a moth to a flame. Her incineration there is prevented only by her loyal friends whose own problems also somehow resolve themselves for the obligatory happy end.
The curtain call is one of the show’s best moments.
Gloria’s rescue provides perhaps the only moment in this musical that is less than frenetic, where events dictate the pace rather than the reverse. This is the production’s major flaw. It provides no room to breathe, no space into which to expand. It’s mostly at maximal rpm all the time, which allows the performers no opportunity to inhabit their characters beyond the minimum. Nonetheless, they give their all even to that.
The two-tier set by Batya Segal and Michael Pik provides smooth and efficient use of this theater’s small stage, while Karen Granek’s unfussy lighting allows atmosphere to seep in.
Flashdance is unrepentantly vulgar, which is probably its chief attraction, and yet the 1983 film, from which the musical was adapted in 2008, attracted huge audiences. It told the story of ordinary people trying somehow to cope with their sometimes gray, often messy lives, as does the musical. Small wonder they struck, and strike, a chord.
‘Flashdance the Musical’
Book by Tom Hedley
Music and Lyrics by Robbie Roth and Robert Cary
Translated by Daniel Efrat
Directed by Omer Zimri
Tel Aviv Theater, July 9
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